Bespoke Work Archive
Forthright Arts CIC have developed a positive reputation for creating informative, thought-provoking plays, many of which address hard-hitting social issues. Whether it is mental health, domestic abuse or post-natal depression, we are driven to raise awareness of the challenges people face within the wider community.
All of the plays produced are based on detailed research including interviews with people who are either experiencing or have survived the subject we are looking at. We never tell just one person’s actual story. The characters and their stories are fictional, but they are all based on the truth shared with us by multiple interviewees. Their interviews are used in complete confidence and will never be shared without their permission. However, we would like to thank everyone who has had the courage and honesty to share their stories with us. It is great to know through their feedback, that we have done justice to their courage through the work we have produced.
An Angel Abroad
Funded by Arts Council England, An Angel Abroad tells the story of three couples who experience different types of domestic abuse. The production, which is based on detailed research including interviews with survivors of domestic abuse, dramatically cuts between each tale and is interwoven with humour and music.
The innovative approach sees the first story being told in reverse, reflecting on how a woman fell in love with her abusive husband. The second tale takes us through the experience of a man abused by his wife, whilst the third shows abuse in a female same-sex relationship. The production is played by three actors each taking two parts – one as a victim and the other as a perpetrator.
An Angel Abroad led to further work commissioned by Redditch Borough Council as part of the White Ribbon Campaign, which raises awareness about domestic abuse. We created an innovative theatrical installation based on the characters of the production, resulting in the creation of a pop-up shoe shop. Members of the public selected a shoe from a display which then allowed them to engage with the actors ‘in role’ to understand what it was like to ‘walk in their shoes’ as a victim or perpetrator of domestic abuse.
Gary and Robert Blues
Gary and Robert Blues is a one-man show about men and their mental health. The play focuses on one man isolating himself as he uses the creation of a new stand-up comedy act to help him reconnect with the world. Throughout the production, he is interrupted by messages left on his answer phone from friends, family and work. They serve as his slender connection to the real world outside. Funded by Arts Council England, the show received critical acclaim across Worcestershire. We then took the play further afield to the Brighton Festival in 2016. A shortened stand up version was created and performed to workers at two local authorities to raise awareness of men’s mental health.
Baby Blues is an emotive play based on the experiences of women who have suffered from postnatal depression, as well as their partners who have had to support them throughout this time. The play, funded by Arts Council England, creatively cuts between two stories focusing on the different aspects of postnatal depression. The first story involves a young mother finding it difficult to bond with her new baby. The second tells the tale of a mother who emotionally shuts out her partner and wants to keep her child away from the outside world. This play was a milestone moment in the history of Forthright Arts CIC, following our work with movement director Naomi Said. This was because it represented a change in style for the company to a more physical movement style of production.
Baby Blues was created and performed in partnership with The Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham. We’re proud to say it was also the first performance to be live streamed from The Artrix in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.
Robbing Peter, Paying Paul
Robbing Peter, Paying Paul was a production funded by Public Health England and Worcestershire County Council. The play is based on interviews with people who have suffered from debt and financial problems. We drew on their experiences to produce a storyline that creatively cuts between the tales of three individuals and their families dealing with these issues.